Block printing is a fun craft similar to using a stamp, but way cooler! I chose to update my kitchen linens by taking a piece of lino block and cutting around a special design to customize my own stamp. You can do it too with a few tools, little bit of patience and a steady hand.
Lino cutting tools with multiple blades
Old picture frame
Pencil and graphite paper
Cloth napkins or tablecloth (whatever you wish to stamp!)
*You can find the first three supplies listed above (lino cutting tool, lino block and brayer) in this starter kit.
Step 1: To start, figure out what you want your stencil to be. I wanted to update an old hand towel from my kitchen so I thought it would be cute to have a vintage knife, fork and spoon set printed on it.
You can draw your print free hand or print something cool you see online and trace it onto graphite paper. Next, transfer your design to the lino block from the graphite.
Step 2: Now that your image has been transferred, you're going to want to start carving your wood block. With a v-shaped tool, work slowly to carve out the entire image on the block. Use a scoop-shaped tool (seen in the picture below) to remove the blank spaces.
Step 3: When you are done carving the block, just do a quick check to make sure when you imprint this on your cloth, that no raised edges or splinters will make a bad mark. Once you've doubled checked it, wipe your block down with a moist paper towel.
Step 4: This is where your old picture frame comes in. Squeeze your fabric paint onto the plexiglass of the frame and thin the paint slightly with a few drops of water. Roll the brayer on the paint mixture. Make sure it is covered evenly, then roll the brayer onto your block print. Do a test run on an extra piece of scrap fabric or paper to make sure the print comes out perfect.
Once you are satisfied with your block and the print comes out to your liking on the scrap fabric, roll more paint onto the block and stamp your cloth napkins or tablecloth.
You can see below, the black paint gave my kitchen hand towel a chic, vintage feel. I love how the paint didn't come out too dark and you can see the little detail I put into carving the inside of the spoon.
Block printing is a great craft for adults to update their kitchen linens, but I really love the idea of making homemade cards for friends and family as well as creating a cool vintage t-shirt. There are so many ways to use your creation, just make sure to use the correct paint depending on what material you are printing on!